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Photograph: Courtesy Peter Garritano

The 28 best outdoor bars in NYC

Sip outside at the city's best breezy drinking destinations.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
&
Bao Ong
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In New York City, outdoor drinks are possible, probable and practically perfected year-round, but spring and summer are prime time for open air imbibing. The sunny days are longer, the temperatures are warmer and fun frozen drinks reenter the mix all around town. With appearances by boat bars, rooftops, dives and secret gardens, these are our favorite places to sip beer, wine, cocktails and all manner of boozy consumables outside in NYC this season. 

RECOMMENDED: More of the best bars in NYC

Best outdoor bars in NYC

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Williamsburg
  • price 3 of 4

After closing its doors for fifteen months, this New Orleans-style oyster bar reopened last summer to cheers throughout the neighborhood and beyond. The popular salon's 1,000-square-foot, flora-filled garden is open from May through November for all manner of food and drinks, including Maison Premiere's famed absinthe and martinis. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 2 of 4

This pan-Latin inspired favorite is just as terrific as its predecessor, Clover Club, across the street. "Best American Bartender" honoree Ivy Mix's spot is dotted with Indio candles, lined with cathedral pew seating and topped with a golden tin ceiling inside, with outdoor imbimbing opportunities up front and in the back. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

Although it’s had a long run on Grand Street, Maracuja’s back garden was closed to the public for six years until last year. Now you can access it through a door marked “private” and sip $5 beer, $6 wines and $8 cocktails and frozens among the greenery during happy hour every day from 4pm-7pm. “If you know it we can make it” cocktails are $11 any time.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

Travel back to 1950s Palm Springs for 2022 Brooklyn cocktails—Aperol seltzer and tequila aloe vera slushies, for instance. The spacious outdoor patio includes colorful chairs, lounges and cheerful ambiance that will make this your go-to summer destination.

Gowanus Yacht Club
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 1 of 4

This modest patch of land adjacent to a popular bagel shop and as close to the subway as almost any bar can be is poised to reopen its outdoor-only openation for the 2022 warm weather drinking season. Expect beer, wine in plastic cups, burgers and hotdogs at the popular, cash only spot. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Brooklyn bars with DJ-scored electricity inside and a relaxing kick-back-with-drinks space outside can be surprisingly hard to come by. Midnights has it all, and it's bursting with style, too. Fortunately all the cool is softened in its tranquil backyard with unpretentious cocktails, which are all $13 and under. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Kips Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Freehand has yet another hot spot inside this Manhattan hotel with its Miami-imported Caribbean-inspired rooftop bar. The James-Beared-nominated locale has a wraparound terrace, funky, laid-back decor, cocktails like the Strawberry Fields Marg and $12 daily punch. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Governors Island
  • price 2 of 4

New York harbor was once a hotbed of oyster production, home to nearly 220,000 acres of reefs. Governors Island pays tribute to that bivalve legacy with this outdoor oyster bar and beer garden from the brothers, sailors and restaurateurs behind the popular boat bar Grand Banks and the newly opened Holywater. Island Oyster's waterfront bar, separate white-marble oyster bar and large, communal mahogany tables span 32,000 square-feet. 

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Red Hook
  • price 1 of 4

In a city overflowing with dive-themed dive bars, Ice House is the real deal. It’s dark inside, its booths are battered and the bar’s been known to get a little sticky. It’s honestly a breath of fresh air, and so is the big, sunny yard out back. 

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  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

This neighborhood restaurant serves drinks like dirty pickle martinis, frozen Arnold Palmers and Bonnie punch along with beer and wine in its convivial picnic table-filled patio. Brunch, dinner and late-night snacks are available, too, should the essence of pickle not quite slake your appetite. 

Parklife
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Gowanus

Drinks? Trivia nights? DJs? Screenings? Tacos, tlayudas, queso, guac and churros? It’s all available at Parklife. This fun Gowanus open-air bar, located around the corner from Littlefield, is a spacious, laid back one stop shop for a full evening out.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 1 of 4

Pass through the gently-lit bar area in front and head to Doris’s backyard, where you’ll find a ping pong table, couples on first dates and even occasional chef pop-ups. The vibe is laid-back (with a great collection vintage LPs) and the cocktails are well-crafted.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • East Williamsburg

Find terrific drinks at this approachable, neighborly bar, where the back patio feels like a getaway from the middle of industrial Bushwick. The Narrows also serves small bites and has a great happy hour from 5pm7pm, when all cocktails are $10. Cash only. 

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  • Restaurants
  • West Village

This newer West Village spot on a relatively intimate block has 1970s design vibes inside and, in addition to a particularly polished streetery setup, a few tables and chairs out on the sidewalk for a casual, just strolled by kind of drink. Sip pints and frozens as you watch the world pass by on Bedford Street. 

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Midtown
  • price 2 of 4

Dock yourself next to a bucket of beers on this multi-level floating lighthouse bar at Chelsea Piers—complete with prime sunset seating and views of the West Side. Bring a group of friends for the NYC-est summer Sunday fundays. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Bushwick

Kareem Bunton, a musical collaborator of Run the Jewels, Prefuse 73 and TV on the Radio, fashioned his 'world famous' bar to feel like the 90s. Its interior is particularly photogenic, awash in jewel tones and flattering lighting, and the 1,400 square-foot patio is the perfect place to have a dancing night-out, particularly in the spring and summer. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Sunny weather and margaritas are a match made in heaven, and the cucumber version at this DUMBO Mexican joint is the perfect example. Nurse your hangover in its ivy-covered backyard with tacos, spicy guacamole and black bean frijoles.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Tribeca
  • price 2 of 4

If you're looking for an elegant seaside experience that rivals a day in the Hamptons, step aboard Grand Banks, the historic schooner turned oyster bar docked at Tribeca Piers. Two brass-tapped bars flank the bow and mizzenmast, offering prime seats to sip and watch the sunset.

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  • Attractions
  • Rockaways
  • price 1 of 4

Despite the kitschy delight of eating takeaway tacos off a knee-balanced plate at Rockaway Taco, the sit-down setup at this offshoot housed inside the Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a much-welcome upgrade. Like at that OG taco shack, the chef is fueling off-duty surfers and beach-bound locals with exemplary eats, but Tacoway boasts one major feature its forebearer was missing: alcohol.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • South Slope
  • price 2 of 4

Park Slope brew hounds can kick back at this massive 13,000-square-foot beer garden. Sixty taps dispense more than 20 different craft brews. In warmer climes, order yours with a burger or hot dog at outdoor picnic tables. Greenwood Park presently accepts reservations for groups of up to ten, with some space available for walk-ins. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Austrian
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Inspired by breweries in Cologne, this beer garden pours German brews like Gaffel Kölsch and Radeberger Pilsner, plus wines from its namesake region. Populate picnic tables for hearty fare like bratwurst with sauerkraut and schnitzels with fries. No lederhosen required. 

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Ellington in the Park
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Upper West Side
  • price 1 of 4

Stroll up on your own, or gather several hundred of your closest friends for Hudson River views, cocktails to stay or to-go and crowd pleasing menu items like pizza, burgers, hot dogs and an abundance of bar food standards right inside Riverside Park at 105th Street. 

Find the city’s best beer spots

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